Open a licensed child care facility

Licensed child care programs must meet provincial government requirements in the Child Care Licensing Regulation for:

  • Health and safety
  • Staffing qualifications
  • Staff-to-child ratios
  • Space and equipment
  • Program standards

It's important to take this step before you make any commitments. Each health authority Community Care Facility Licensing program processes applications and issues the licence to operate a child care facility.

If you get in touch with the office in your area, they will provide you with an application package and can help you get started. They're also a great resource for information about where to get a municipal business licence, zoning and bylaws and fire safety.

Fraser Health Authority
Central intake: 604 587-3936
Abbostford: 604 870-6000
Burnaby: 604 918-7683
Chilliwack: 604 702-4950
Delta: 604 507-5478
Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam and Port Moody: 604 949-7700
Surrey and Whiterock: 604 930-5405

Interior Health Authority
Licensing: 1 877 980-5118
Cranbrook: 250 420-2220
Kamloops: 250 851-7340
Kelowna: 1 877 980-5118
Nelson: 250 505-7200
Penticton: 250 770-5540
Salmon Arm: 250 833-4100
Vernon: 250 549-5707
Williams Lake: 250 302-5000

Island Health Authority
Campbell River: 250 850-2110
Courtenay: 250 331-8620
Nanaimo: 250 739-5800
Victoria: 250 519-3401

Northern Health Authority
Dawson Creek: 250 719-6500
Fort St. John: 250 263-6000
Prince George and Smithers: 250 565-2150
Terrace: 250 631-4222

Vancouver Coastal Health
Powell River: 604 485-3310
Richmond: 604 233-3147
Sechelt: 604 885-5164
Squamish: 604 892-2293
Vancouver: 604 675-3800
North Shore: 604 983-6700

Make sure that you (and your employees) are qualified with the right education, training and experience.

Depending on the type of licensed child care you will provide, you may need one of the following certificates:

  • Infant Toddler Educator Certificate
  • Early Childhood Educator Certificate
  • Early Childhood Educator Assistant Certificate

There are some types of licensed child care that only require the provider to be a responsible adult (19 years of age and older) who is able to provide care and mature guidance to children and has 20 hours of child care-related training, relevant work experience and a valid first aid certificate.

Based on the number of children you plan to care for, hire enough qualified employees.

This step will cost money and take a bit of time – be sure to complete it early on in the process. You will also need to make sure each employee completes one.

Have a location that's suitable for taking care of children. It needs to meet health, safety and building regulations.

Contact the municipality your business will be located in to ask about business licensing, zoning bylaws and fire inspections. Be prepared to pay money for your business licence and plan enough time for approval from the municipality.

You must get a community care facility licence from your local health authority. There is no cost to get a licence, but there may be some related costs such as criminal record checks, first aid training or a municipal business licence.

The Child Care Licensing Regulation describes basic health, safety and care requirements for licensed child care facilities. To apply, you will need to provide the following types of information:

  • A detailed description of the program to be offered
  • The proposed number of employees, their qualifications and duties
  • A building and property site plan
  • A building floor plan
  • Projected monthly budget
  • References and criminal record checks

The application process also includes:

  • An inspection of the proposed facility site
  • A review of your facility's policies and procedures
  • An assessment to make sure you will be a good care provider

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